I-DM20: +-603 Acre Island West Ambergris Caye! Great for Development!
- Lot Size: +-603 Acres
Own Your Island Paradise! Great Investment opportunity
600+ Acre Island West of Ambergris Caye!
Location West of Ambergris Caye
Size 603 Acres
Price $10,500,000.00US or $21,000,000.00BZ
Terms CASH OR LIMITED OWNER FINANCING AVAILABLE
Closing Costs Assumed by the Purchaser
Notice Offered for sale, as is, where is; transferrable title. Price deem to change without any notice. Any or all offers may be refused by owner.
A great Investment Island property boasting of 603 acre situated some 14 miles North West from San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye! The Island is clearly undeveloped but it is a blank slate ready for your vision, your dreams to become a master planned reality!
The island has great potential for development as it sits directly 3 miles north from Blackadore Caye which is owned by Leonardo Dicaprio. Blackadore Caye has already submitted Environmental Impact Assessment and appears that the project will move forward as Luxury Resort Development!
The closest point to Ambergris Caye is about 1.5 miles from the Island, but San Pedro Town is approximately some 14 miles away. The Great Barrier Reef is approximately 12 miles from the island and is accessed through an international border waterway divides Belize and Mexico.
There has been rumours for years about building a road that connects Ambergris Caye to Mexico for some time, and if this would take place the island would be within close proximity to capture tourism in the area.
Below is an assessment and information on the island. Any questions, please feel free to contact us! Make an offer!
Island Rapid Assessment
A rapid assessment was conducted of Caye/Island on 9th May, 2009. A series of 8 survey sites were selected to ensure representation of the ecosystems of the Caye.
The rapid assessment of the flora of Caye/Island demonstrated that a mosaic of five inter‐related
Ecosystems (or components thereof) occur on the island, their distribution being defined largely by micro‐topography, water regime, and salt load. These include:
Coastal fringe Rhizophora mangle‐dominated forest,
Littoral forest and beach communities,
Mixed mangrove scrub,
Dwarf mangrove scrub,
Marine salt marsh with many succulent species.
The extent of theses ecosystems varies considerably on the Caye/Island, and distinctions amongst them are at times somewhat arbitrary: the marine salt marsh system here could also be considered as a sub‐category of the mixed mangrove scrub. For clarity, the distinctions of the Central American Ecosystems Map: Belize are followed here – with the detail provided by the rapid site survey. A sixth ecosystem, tropical semi‐deciduous lowland broadleaf forest, is identified (from aerial photos) as occurring in a central portion of the island (south of the creek that was assessed), but not accessed in this survey.
Coastal fringe Rhizophora mangle‐dominated forest occurs in relatively short sections of the shoreline of the island complex, both on the sandier east‐facing shorelines, and along the
coastal mudflats that occur along much of the western‐facing shoreline. It occurs in a very narrow band along the shore, with the characteristic stilt roots of the red mangrove stretching out into the sea. On the Caye/Island, this vegetation type typically has a canopy height of 2‐4 metres.
Littoral forest and beach communities occurs in narrow stands on the higher sandier coastal strands of Caye/Island, predominantly along the eastern shorelines, but with small tracts also along parts of the western‐facing beaches. It is characterized here by the presence of saltwater palmetto palms, sapote, spiny bullet‐wood, black poisonwood, seagrape, and Jaquinia. Other plant species observed here include zericote, cow‐horn orchid, airplants, redfowl, bastard logwood, Sophora, and white poisonwood. The herbaceous beach component of this ecosystem is very limited on Caye/Island, possibly because the limited wave and tidal action has enabled the woody trees to grow right up to the shore in many places. Herbaceous species observed here include romero, turpentine shrub, passionflower and sea ox‐eye. The non‐native and invasive Australian pine occurs in several locations.
In most instances this island, the narrow higher sandy coastal strand on which the littoral
forest occurs, slopes down inland to give way to mixed mangrove scrub. These system includes red mangrove, black mangrove, white mangrove, buttonwood, Jaquinia, sword‐grass, spiny bullet‐wood, hulub and air‐plants, often with Distichlis grasses and Fimbristylis sedges.
Dwarf mangrove scrub occurs in large tracts on the island’s lowest mudflats – areas that are
generally less that 10cm above sea level, and which will be seasonally inundated with saline waters for prolonged periods. It is dominated by stunted red mangrove, on Caye/Island forming a canopy of 1.0 – 1.2m. In areas at or very near sea level, the mudflats are almost devoid of
vegetation between the stunted mangroves, where there are a few centimetres of elevation
Distichlis grass grass tends to creep. With increasing ‘elevation’ dwarf mangrove scrub grades
into mixed mangrove scrub. Relatively small tracts of marine salt marsh with many succulent species occur on the island, often as patches interspersed amongst the more extensive mixed mangrove scrub. Distichlis grasses, Fimbristylis sedges and Juncus rushes. In slightly raised areas it grades into the mixed mangrove scrub. On Caye/Island these marine marshes appear somewhat species poor, mostly lacking the succulent plant species commonly associated with this system. A remarkably small number of plant species (27) was seen to predominate within and across the ecosystems. Greater diversity is expected to occur within a tract of broadleaf forest (inland of littoral forest on the central eastern shoreline, south of the creek) that was observed from aerial photographs, but not accessed in this survey. No threatened or endangered plant species were observed in the rapid assessment. The littoral forest is the most threatened of the ecosystems occurring on the island, and is notable in the abundance of Thrinax palms – a species that has commonly been depleted in such areas by people cutting trunks for seawalls and fishermen’s huts. The littoral forest here is somewhat species‐poor as compared with tracts elsewhere in Belize, largely because of the absence of the herbaceous beach vegetation which often lies on the mobile beach sands on the seaward side of the woody tree belt.
Plant Species Recorded, 2009
Hulub Bravaisia berlandieriana
Black Poisonwood Metopium brownei
White Poisonwood Cameraria latifolia
Chit Thrinax radiata
Sea Ox‐eye Borrichia arborescens
Zericote Cordia dodecandra
Air‐pant Tillandsia dasylirifolia (?)
Air ‐plant Tillandsia streptophylla (?)
Casuarina Casuarina equisetifolia
Spiny Bulletwood Bucida spinosa
Buttonwood Conocarpus erecta
White Mangrove Laguncularia racemosa
Sedge Fimbristylis littoralis
Red Fowl Sphinga platyloba
Coastal Mare de Cacao Sophora tomentosa
Sword Grass Juncus marginatus (?)
Cow‐horn Orchid Myrmecophila tibicinis
Passionflower Passiflora foetida
Salt Marsh Grass Distichlis spicata
Sea Grape Coccoloba uvifera
Canelita Gymnopodium floribundum
Red Mangrove Rhizophora mangle
Sapote Manilkara zapota
Turpentine Shrub Solanum erianthum
Romero Suriana maritima
Jaquinia Jaquinia macrocarpa
Black Mangrove Avicennia germinans
The most frequently sighted signs of mammals were the tracks of racoons (Procyon lotor) on the shoreline. These are not considered threatened in any way, and may well benefit from development of the Caye (though have the potential to become a pest).
However, of greater concern is the West Indian manatee ‐ a species rated as ‘Vulnerable’ under the IUCN Redlist. Corozal Bay and the adjacent Chetumal Bay have been highlighted as particularly important for this species within the MesoAmerica region. The West Indian manatee uses the Bay for mating and calving (Auil, 2004; Morales‐Vela et al. 2000), as the waters are protected, with lower salinity than the more marine waters. This is verified by relatively frequent reports of mating congregations from local fishermen, and frequent sightings along the entire coastline. However local fishermen report that this species appears to prefer the waters adjacent to the mainland coastline, and seldom venture into the shallow waters of the Caye/Island area, though they are occasionally sighted in the deeper sink areas to the north and east of the Caye. The bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncates) are more commonly sighted in the Caye/Island area.
In terms of development implications, of primary concern is a predicted increase in boat traffic in the area, with the potential to increase boat / manatee collisions – one of the primary causes of manatee mortality in Belize. Corozal Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is designated as such by the Government of Belize to protect this species, and a co‐management agreement is being developed with a local conservation organization (SACD ‐ the Sarteneja Alliance for
Conservation and Development), with the objective of ensuring activities within the area are not detrimental to the viability of this and other species. Again, this may not be a significant issue if guidelines are in place from the start of any project, boat traffic can be controlled within the Sanctuary, rules and regulations of the Sanctuary are supported, and a working partnership can be developed between the developer and the conservation organization.
Corozal Bay is known to support numerous wetland birds, with small mangrove cayes and areas of high vegetation providing important nesting and foraging habitat, and Caye/Island is no exception. Based on the ecosystem survey, Caye/Island is expected to support a terrestrial bird population similar to that of northern Ambergris Caye, including a number of Yucatan endemics such as the black catbird (Melanoptila glabirostris), red‐vented woodpecker
(Melanerpes pygmaeus) and Yucatan vireo (Vireo magister). All three endemics will be present in the coastal strand vegetation of Caye/Island (the back catbird and Yucatan vireo were both recorded during the rapid evaluation).
The forest vegetation of Caye/Island will also be of importance to Neotropical migratory birds – a recent study of the importance of this type of vegetation in the adjacent Sarteneja peninsula.
The Yucatan Peninsula is highlighted as an important flyway for migrants crossing the Gulf of
Mexico. Sixty‐three species of migratory landbirds were recorded, including a number of species of concern in the United States ‐ the prothonotary warbler (Protonotaria citrea), willow warbler ( Empidonax traillii ), and small numbers of wood thrush (Hylocichla mustelina), baybreasted warber (Dendroica castanea), Kentucky warbler ( Oporornis formosus) and Canada warbler (Wilsonia canadensis). In general, migrants showed a preference for forested and mangrove habitats whilst avoiding open habitats such as savanna – forest clearance in stopover areas is therefore expected to have an adverse effect on migratory success (Bayly and Gomez, 2008). Development of Caye/Island may not be detrimental to its function as a migratory stopover and refuelling point if areas of forest can be maintained and landscaping including key local food resources for these species.
Not far to the south of Caye/Island lies Little Guana Caye, established as a bird sanctuary under the National Lands Act, in 1977, for the presence of the largest nesting colony of reddish egrets in the Caribbean and is also known to have nesting white ibis (Eudocimus albus), tricolored herons (Egretta tricolor), and roseate spoonbills (Kramer & Kramer, 2002). Species surveys of this caye have also listed boat‐billed heron (Cochlearius cochearius). These species are charismatic and a major tourism attraction to the area. When disbursing to feed, they populate not only the shallow lagoons of Caye/Island, but also those of Bacalar Chico National
Park / Marine Reserve and are thought to travel as far inland as Crooked Tree Wildlife
Sanctuary (established for its rich waterbird population), providing an important tourism resource. Because of the fragility of large breeding colonies such as these, these species appear on the national list of species of concern (Meerman, 2005; draft), and any increase in tourism and boat activity in the area should take into consideration their requirements for minimal disturbance for nesting success during the nesting season.
Species Recorded, 2009
Tropical Mockingbird Mimus gilvus
Black Catbird Melanoptila glabirostris
Yucatan Vireo Vireo magister
Mangrove Warbler Dendroica petechia
Social Flycatcher Myiozetetes similis
Great Blue Heron Ardea herodius
Green Heron Butorides virescens
Osprey Pandion haliaetus
Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis
Caspian Tern (?) Sterna caspia (?)
Laughing Gull Larus atricilla
Double crested Cormorant Phalocrocorax auritus
Mangrove Swallow Tachycineta albilinea
Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis
Great‐tailed Grackle Quiscalus mexicanus
White Ibis Eudocimus albus
Turkey Vulture (?) Cathartes aura (?)
The shallow bays and inlets provide a protected nursery habitat for a variety of fish species common to the shallow coastal lagoons of the area ‐ the high temperatures generated in the shallow waters, and the reduced salinity prevent coral and coral reef communities establishing within the area. The most abundant species recorded within the project area were yellowfin mojarra (Gerres cinereus), grey snapper (Lutjanus griseus) and, surprisingly, bonefish (Abula vulpes). The bonefish, important for the fly‐fishing tourism sector, tends to prefer shallow coastal waters, and was seen in large numbers (>500 individuals). All were juvenile, suggesting that this is an important nursery area, supplying the Bulkhead Shoal flats, favoured by the San
Pedro sport fishermen. Bonefish are regulated under Belize Fisheries Department regulations, with restrictions on buying and selling of this species.
Also highlighted within the survey was the importance of the lower section of the mangrovelined creek as a spawning area, with an extremely high density of fry and fingerlings. Large numbers of juvenile yellowfin mojarra, locally important as a commercial species, were also present further up the creek, as were Mayan cichlids (Cichlasoma uropthalmus), more frequently thought of as a freshwater / brackish water species.
Throughout the survey area, fish density was highest associated with limestone bedrock with its associated algal growth (Batophora oerstedii), and with the sparse seagrass patches (turtle
grass (Thalassia testudinum) and shoal grass (Halodule wrightii). The exceptions are the shallow waters of the west‐facing bays, which provide ideal habitat for the common southern stingray
(Dasyatis americana), and for the peacock flounder (Bothus lunatus) and chequered pufferfish (Sphoeroides testudineus). To supplement the fish survey, a number of surveys were conducted with local fishermen in the area (Mr. Blanco, with fish traps set directly east of Caye/Island, on the west coast of Ambergris Caye; and Mr. Moreno, with a fishing camp located on the tip of the southern part of the Caye system).
Reports suggest that the Critically Endangered goliath grouper (Epinephelus itajara) was, at one time, relatively common in the bay, but overfishing has reduced numbers of this species. The habitats surveyed by Caye/Island are not ideal for this species, and the area not considered critical for its survival. Corozal Bay is reported to have at least five shark species (Bonfil, 1997) that can be found within the general area, with bull, blacktip, nurse and bonnethead sharks
(Carcharhinus leucas, C. limbatus, Ginglymostoma cirratum and Sphyrna tiburo) reported from the Bulkhead Shoals area to the southern end of the Wildlife Sanctuary, southeast of the
Caye. The channels in this area are thought to be an important nursery area for these
Corozal Bay is known as a sport fishing area, with bonefish, permit (Trachinotus falcatus), tarpon (Megalops atlanticus), common snook (Centropomus undecimalis) and crevalle jack
(Caranx hippos) all being targeted. Unregulated fishing, however, is thought to have severely reduced populations from former levels.
Fish Species Recorded, 2009
Yellowfin mojarra Gerres cinereus
Great Barracuda Sphyraena barracuda
Southern Stingray Dasyatis americana
Peacock Flounder Bothus lunatus
Redfin Needlefish Strongylura notata
Lane Snapper Lutjanus synagris
Grey Snapper Lutjanus griseus
Mayan Cichlid Cichlasoma uroptalmus
White Grunt (?) Haemulon plumieri
Bonefish Albula vulpes
Additional Fish Species Reported by Local Fishermen
Mutton Snapper Lutjanus analis
Yellowtail Snapper Ocyurus crysurus
Dog Snapper Lutjanus jocu
Blue‐striped Grunt Haemulon sciurus
Crevalle Jack Caranx hippos
Horse‐eye Jack Caranx latus
Bar Jack Caranx rubber
Permit Trachinotus falcatus
Common Snook Centropomus undecimalis
Tarpon Megalops atlanticus
Blacktip Shark Carcharhinus leucas
Bull Shark Carcharhinus limbatu
Bonnethead Shark Sphyrna tiburo
Nurse Shark Ginglymostoma cirratum
The herpetofauna (amphibians and reptiles) of Caye/Island is not likely to be very diverse, or to include species of conservation concern. It will include far fewer species than found on the nearby Ambergris Caye – reflecting the much smaller size of the island, the more limited freshwater resources, lower topography, and less diverse habitats: in keeping with most of the ‘small to medium‐sized islands of Belize. Tracks of the black iguana (Ctenosaura similis) were observed during the rapid assessment, and no doubt several other lizard and snake species are likely to occur there. Amphibian fauna will be very limited, with the cane toad (Chaunus
marinus) being likely to occur there, and the Gulf toad (Incilius valliceps) and Mexican tree‐frog (Smilisca baudinii) potentially occurring within the less saline broadleaf forest areas.
Despite Ambergris Caye harbouring nationally significant numbers of the vulnerable American crocodiles, and nesting sites for this species, none were found in a previous survey of the island
(Platt, S.G. & J.B. Thorbjarnarson, 1997). The sandy coastal strands, whilst having sufficient elevation to support limited tracts of littoral forest, are likely to be too low for crocodiles to safely nest there – without risk of periodic nest inundation and loss. Similarly, there are no reports of the endangered marine turtles nesting on the island – for similar reasons.
It is anticipated that the Environmental Impact Assessment will determine that the
herpetofauna of Caye/Island is typical of small‐medium sized cayes in Belize, including few amphibians, but several reptile species able to live in seasonally dry, salt‐dominated ecosystems. Based on the rapid assessment of the island, the previous assessment by Platt, and the absence of reports of use of the island be marine turtles, project development is not thought likely to impact any reptiles or amphibians of conservation concern.
EnviroPlan Consultants Limited www.enviroplanbelize.com
Caye/Island: Rapid Assessment – Flora, Fauna & Mayan Sites Evaluation
Generally five interrelated ecosystems were identified that included the commonly found White, Red and Black mangroves. While permission is required before the cutting of any kind of mangroves this is not seen as a limitation to development. However, because of the significance of the tall trees to attract birds the preservation of as much as possible of the natural vegetation will be a plus. Overall no threatened or endangered plant species were observed in the rapid assessment.
A number of mammals, birds and fishes were identified in the area of Caye/Island. The most significant was the West Indian Manatee that appears on the IUCN Redlist as “Vulnerable”. While the Manatee is of general concern for all of Belize, they prefer waters adjacent to the mainland and seldom venture into the shallow waters of the Caye/Island area. A number of migratory birds were recorded that uses the forest canopy as a stopover during their journey. Natural vegetation will have to be protected where possible as a key to maintaining this habitat. On the other side, the nearby Guana Caye is a bird sanctuary with birds that are an attraction to tourist. This is definite a plus to the area and bird lovers must be careful to minimize disturbance of these species during viewing. Fishes were generally in abundance and juveniles were observed indicating a natural nursery nearby the shoreline. Maintaining habitats that will protect these fingerlings will be important for continuous repopulation a healthy marine environment. This can easily be accomplished by maintaining some of the natural vegetation along the shoreline for protection and as a fish nursery. Additional mitigation measures that can be utilize is approved/marked boating routes and safeguarding forested habitats through a code of covenant. In this way development of Caye/Island can be in harmony with the environment.
The fringe preliminary site survey could not identify any sites but some mounds may be present in the middle of the property. This is only an assumption based on aerial surveys where some areas of the forest appear in thick clumps.
Overall, based on this assessment there were not any over powering issues that would lead to major restrictions to development. Nevertheless, it must be caution that, cutting of mangrove is still a sensitive issue with the relevant agencies and any impacts must be properly assessed and mitigated. Caye/Island can be developed with minimum impacts to the environment.
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Agent(s) for this listing
Mr. Oscar D. Romero